Buccaneers HC Todd Bowles said that their players must “step up” as leaders after relinquishing a fourth-quarter lead to the Browns in Week 12.
“It’s a players team. Every team that has winners that wins is a players team,” Bowles said, via JoeBucsFan.com. “The leaders lead and everybody else follows. So it’s time for our leaders to lead and step up. And everybody else has to follow, and make plays. Not just lead but make plays. And show’em by example, show’em by being vocal, show’em by how they practice. And they’ve been doing that for the most part but, you know, we can’t piss away anymore ballgames sort of speak. So it’s time for us to step up and make plays. We got six games left until we gotta get in the tournament.”
- Buccaneers QB Tom Brady said that they are not playing up to standard at 5-6: “We have not played the way we’re capable of playing.” (Greg Auman)
- Bowles has ruled out S Antoine Winfield, S Mike Edwards, and RT Tristan Wirfs for the team’s upcoming game.
Falcons WR Drake London said his lack of production bothers him and is eager to help his team more effectively.
“You know, the competitor in me, it can bother me a little bit. I want to try to do everything I possibly can to help my team and I feel like I can help my team,” London said, via Josh Kendall of The Athletic.
London said that he must take advantage of the opportunities that come his way.
“This is a process. I’m a rookie,” London said. “I kind of have to, not go with the flow, but do my job and at the end of the day, the ball is going to find me. When those opportunities come, I have to make the best of them.”
London mentioned that the success of other rookie receivers this season is a motivation to improve.
“I don’t try to put myself in the comparing game, but I am tuned in (to the other rookie receivers),” London said. “With them in my class and doing as good as they are doing, it pushes me to do good, too. I applaud them for killing it.”
Packers HC Matt LaFleur said that Aaron Rodgers playing through his ribs injury is a testament to the quarterback’s toughness and competitiveness.
“It just speaks to how competitive he is, how much he’s invested into this game, this team, regardless of circumstances,” LaFleur said, via Bill Huber of FanNation. “And that’s what we talk about to our team all the time is competitive greatness, being your best when your best is required regardless of the circumstance. And that’s one thing you can always expect from him.”
With a 4-8 record, Rodgers said that it is very important to stay optimistic and keep “belief” in the locker room.
“If you adjust the word and use the synonym ‘belief,’ I think that’s a very important characteristic to have as a leader,” Rodgers said. “Because if you lose that belief or that hope at any time, you’re going to lose the locker room. Anybody who’s in a position to speak for the team, to represent the team, to be up in front of the room or up in front of the guys, you’ve got to exhibit that belief at all times. Even if maybe you don’t wholeheartedly believe it in that specific moment, you can’t ever let them know that. You always have to have to lean on that hope that things are going to get better. That’s why that belief and that patience usually goes hand in hand.”
When asked whether it’s difficult to remain patient at this point in his career, Rodgers responded that he’s trying to stay consistent and also show younger players how to deal with adversity.
“That’s a good question,” Rodgers said. “I think it’s kind of both. I think the years give you the wisdom to kind of slow down a little bit and also the urgency (of) you want to win and you realize the opportunities are becoming less and less. So, it’s a combination of both. But I think in general, the wisdom of the years is to use that patience and to continue to try and be the same each week, each day, and kind of show these guys how to deal with adversity the right way.”
- Packers DC Joe Barry said he’s lost sleep thinking about what’s went wrong with the defense this year: “I’ve stayed up many nights thinking about that. I wish it was one specific thing I could put my finger on.” (Matt Schneidman)
- Packers QB coach Tom Clements has noticed improvement from QB Jordan Love: “His footwork was good, he got rid of the ball on time and I think all his hard work has paid off for him.” (Schneidman)
- Barry is standing behind his processes and not second-guessing anything: “The last thing I will ever do is second guess anything. Sure there are times in a game you’d like a specific call back, but as far as second guessing anything, I’m not wired that way.” (Ryan Wood)
- Clements believes Love has all the tools to be a successful quarterback in the NFL: “He’s smart. He’s on top of the game plan. He has a strong arm. He works at it. So he has all the attributes you look for.” (Wood)